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Artemio: A Requiem for Maria

Y Gallery
165 Orchard Street, 917-721-4539
East Village / Lower East Side
March 9 - April 8, 2012
Reception: Friday, March 9, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

Y Gallery is pleased to present A Requiem for Maria, a visual requiem composed by Artemio (Mexico, 1976) celebrating the life of artist Maria Alos (1973-2011) and the repose of her soul. For the month of March, the gallery converts itself into a temple, with ritual offerings as a memorial to an artist.

As enfants terribles, Artemio and Maria developed a 20 year relationship as accomplices during both the quotidian episodes of life as well as in the uncanny occurrences. They were soul siblings in the act of living. The exposition is an homage from artist to artist. In his visual arrangement, Artemio re-contextualizes the liturgical chants of a requiem, Introitus, Kyrie Eleison, Graduale, Tracto, Dies Irae, Offertorium, Sanctus, Agnus Die, Communio, and Libera me, engraving these manuscripts within the interior of somber walnut cases. It is on behalf of the viewer to open the walnut chest, and to let the chant be read. Dies Irae, the middle poem of the requiem, is the climactic moment of the melodic composition. Artemio embellishes the verses of this poem through silence. Dies Irae expands throughout the gallery space in glass tombstones, while the sound of peace is evoked from the candles that illuminate Artemio’s arrangements. During the last years, Artemio has developed a body of work with a dichotomy between appropriation of weaponry imagery and a recapturing of spiritual symbols. How related are death and life and the need to look for spirituality? Tragic events shape our own sense of being.

New York is a city that finds a diversity of liturgical temples in each neighborhood and an urban scenario where Artemio and Maria rethought their own artistic practices. He embraces the gallery compound as the temple that they both analyzed and criticized. Concurrently, Artemio conceives the gallery as the contemporary house of workship of art, the commonplace for the quotidian offering of the artist’s soul. Artemio finds New York as the right place to offer his own requiem and offer his farewell to his lifelong confidante. Their enduring friendship and intellectual collaboration will forever remain alive. As Artemio quotes, from a favorite popular saying of him and Maria, Death is not the end.

Artemio was born in Mexico City in 1976. He has shown internationally in galleries and museums including Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Carrillo Gil, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art San Francisco, MUSAC Museo de Castilla y Leon, CECCH Centre d’edition Contemporaine Geneve, Musee d Art Contemporain de Lyon, SMAK, Ghent. He had participated in 10th Havana Biennial and Sexta Bienal de Video y Nuevos Medios Santiago. His recent solo exhibitions included: Postmiseria at SAPS Sala de Arte Publico Siquieros; Colt Fractiles at Pacific Design Center Los Angeles as part of Via series curated by LAND; ChakrAK-47 at Laxart. Artemio lives and works in Mexico City.

This exhibition counted with the generous support of The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Tequila Alacran and Hotel Americano.
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